The other day, I sent off a film proposal and script treatment to a potential financier. I had worked hard on the proposal and treatment, spending several weeks putting them together, especially because this financier had shown a great degree of interest in the project in the several conversations we’d had about it. I attached the documents to the email and hit the send button. Suddenly, the process was out of my hands, and I found myself sitting in my office…waiting.
Okay, full confession: I hate waiting. It grates against my can-do, get-things-accomplished, Type-A personality, mostly because 1) it feels like nothing is happening, and 2) there’s not a thing I can do about it. I have no control. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’ve got plenty of other things to do, some good ideas and projects that I’m excited about getting off the ground. But in the back of my mind, there’s this gnawing impatience to have an answer for that project. I want that one to fly now, and instead I find myself waiting for clearance from air traffic control. So I sit on the runway and wait, with plenty of time to stew over any number of thoughts – primarily, how much I hate waiting.
Why is it that God makes us wait? Yeah, sure, I know that He is sovereign and understands the big picture much better than I do, but why does He make us wait? In His omnipotent sovereignty, couldn’t He just rearrange all the elements so that I don’t have to wait? I mean, come on! What’s the big hold-up here? I’m willing to bet that you have a few things you find yourself waiting for too – artistically, financially, relationally, or otherwise. Maybe all of the above.
It’s enough to make God look capricious, almost mean. But perhaps there’s a reason for all this waiting beyond what I can see. Perhaps there is something about the process that is just as important as the end result – or even more so.
If you take a look in the Bible, just about every person who had a waiting period and embraced it went on to great success. Conversely, every person in the Bible who either didn’t have a waiting period or didn’t embrace the waiting period that God gave him or her – eventually failed. Which, of course, makes sense: the perseverance that the waiting produces in us (if we let it) is what gives us the character that ultimately is necessary for true success. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t make it any less true: the waiting makes me stronger.
But not only does God make us wait, He often makes us wait until the last minute. In fact, in my experience, not only does He make me wait until the last minute, He often makes me wait until after what I think is the last minute. God makes us wait until after the last minute because He wants to make sure our hope is in Him, and not in our ability to hold out for the last minute. God wants our trust to be in Him, and not in our own ability to trust. The waiting purges us of our misplaced reliance on our own abilities, even our abilities to trust and persevere.
If God has foisted some waiting on you, see how quickly things change when you embrace it. After all, there’s a whole lot happening while you wait.
All my best,